A timeline of NASCAR

January 05, 2015, Staff report, NASCAR.com

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How stock car racing's governing body became what it is today

December 1947

NASCAR is born

Bill France Sr. organizes a meeting at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Florida, to discuss the problems facing stock car racing. Among the issues facing the sport were tracks that could not handle the crowds or the cars and varying rules from location to location. Others agreed that these were problems that could be solved, and from that meeting, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing was born.

Feb. 15, 1948

NASCAR's first race

Two months after that meeting, the first sanctioned NASCAR race was held on Daytona's beach course, a location France was familiar with, helping promote races there and even racing himself. That first race was won by Red Byron in his Ford Modified.

Sept. 4, 1950

Darlington's first race

Darlington International Raceway becomes the first asphalt super speedway to host a NASCAR event. The 500-mile Classic had 74 entrants, but was won by Johnny Mantz in his 1950 Plymouth.

Feb. 22, 1959

Lee Petty

Lee Petty wins the first Daytona 500 in front of 41,000 fans.

Dec. 1, 1963

Wendell Scott

Wendell Scott is the first African-American to win a premier division NASCAR race at Jacksonville Speedway. Darrell Wallace Jr. would become the second African-American to win a NASCAR national series event when he won a Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 26. 2013.

Nov. 18, 1979

Richard Petty

Richard Petty wins his record seventh series championship, a mark that would be matched in 1994 by Dale Earnhardt.

NASCAR heads north

NASCAR's expansion begins to take place more rapidly, a trend that started as the sport opened its first New England track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which saw its first event take place that year. Indianapolis would also join the schedule in 1994.

Feb. 5, 1995

The first Truck Series race

Mike Skinner wins the Skoal Bandit Copper World Classic, the first race of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In 2009, 14 years after the event at Phoenix International Raceway, the series would gain a new sponsor, becoming the Camping World Truck Series.


Mark Martin in Vegas

A year after expanding NASCAR's tour by 10 tracks, Las Vegas joined the Cup Series circuit. The XFINITY Series also saw an addition, heading to Pike's Peak in Colorado, while the Truck Series added races in Colorado, St. Louis and Memphis, Tennessee.

Nov. 17, 2002

Tony Stewart wins the Cup

Tony Stewart's championship season was the beginning of a youth movement in NASCAR. A new generation of drivers, including Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr., gain more popularity.


Brian France

Brian France is named as NASCAR's Chairman and CEO, replacing his father, Bill France Jr.


NASCAR Nextel Cup

The Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup was announced, giving the sport a post-season comparable to a playoff. The first Chase was won by Kurt Busch.

Nov. 16, 2008

Jimmie Johnson makes history

Jimmie Johnson makes history by winning his third consecutive Sprint Cup championship, tying Cale Yarborough's record set between 1976-78. The next year, he would break that record by winning his fourth consecutive championship. He would also be named Male Athlete of the year by the Associated Press.

October 14, 2009

NASCAR Hall of Fame

The inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame is announced in Charlotte, North Carolina. Members of that first class included Bill France Sr., Bill France Jr., Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Junior Johnson.

December 2012

The Gen-6 car

The Generation-6 car is unveiled, bringing NASCAR racing back to its roots of stock cars. The new Gen-6 cars more closely resembled vehicles sold on showroom floors across the country, while becoming even safer and more exciting on the track.

January 2014

New Chase format

NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France announces a new championship format that puts greater emphasis on winning races all season long and expands the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field to 16 drivers, with round-by-round advancements.

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